France to mimic Musk with own SpaceX-style launcher, minister says

9th December, 2021.      //   Space Travel, Technology  // 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Crew Dragon capsule, is launched carrying three NASA and one ESA astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. November 10, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

European space company ArianeGroup will develop a reusable mini-launcher to compete with the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday.

The launcher “must be able to be operational in 2026”, Mr Le Maire said during a trip to the ArianeGroup site at Vernon in Normandy, where the engines of Ariane rockets are tested.

“For the first time Europe…will have access to a reusable launcher. In other words, we will have our SpaceX, we will have our Falcon 9. We will make up for a bad strategic choice made 10 years ago,” Le Maire said.

Rebuilding competitiveness in space was one goal set by President Emmanuel Macron in October when he unveiled a 30 billion euro (£25.6 billion) investment roadmap dubbed “France 2030”, aimed at fostering industrial champions and innovation.

Tesla founder Mr Musk’s SpaceX achieved the first successful touchdown of its prototype Starship rocket during the latest test flight of the next-generation launch vehicle in May.

  • Linkedin

  • Pinterest

  • Youtube